Astros’ Rebuilding Plan Pays Off With World Series Triumph

Houston's tanking method paid off with a World Series win, but it was much harder than you think.

By Cory Gunkel / November 2, 2017 10:32 am

The Houston Astros finally did it.

After years of purposefully losing, stockpiling draft picks, and building a farm system that would rival any in MLB, the Astros put it all together in one of the most exciting World Series of all time, beating back a Los Angeles Dodgers comeback to claim the Fall Classic with a 5-1 Game 7 victory in L.A.

That’s right. Houston tanked to to topple the rest of baseball. It’s a common practice in the NBA, where the Philadelphia 76ers have been losing on purpose for years in hopes of rising from the ashes. But the Astros were able to accomplish it in style, as MVP and tanking product George Springer homered his way into the history books.

This team has been put together methodically and it’s completely possible the Astros can repeat their victory next fall, but let’s take a moment to appreciate just how tough that actually is. As The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh notes, just three teams have won back-to-back pennants in the past 16 years, and no team since 2000 has repeated as World Series champions. Baseball is designed to have its champion knocked off the top of the pedestal, and there’s absolutely no guarantee the Astros will be in the this same position next year despite a loaded roster filled with potential MVPs and Silver Sluggers.

When the final out was made Wednesday night, and Houston’s players mobbed each other on the mound, it was a special moment in baseball history. It’s also one that could never happen again, so delete the dynasty talk and appreciate the win.

The Astros deserve it.